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Australasian Figbird

Sphecotheres vieilloti

Description:

Figbirds are part of a worldwide family that includes the orioles, of which Australia has two other members (the Yellow and Olive-backed Orioles). Males have bare, red skin around the eye, contrasting against a black crown and grey neck and throat. The remainder of the body is olive-green, except for a white under-tail area. Females have grey skin around the eye and lack distinctive head markings. They are brown-green above and dull-white below, streaked with brown. Both sexes have a blackish bill. There are two distinct colour forms of the males of this species. Males north of Proserpine in Queensland have a yellow front.

Habitat:

The Figbird lives in rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests, but is often found in urban parks and gardens, particularly those with figs and other fruit-producing trees

Notes:

Feeding: Figbirds feed in flocks, often of around 20 birds that are prepared to fly to isolated trees that are suitable for foraging. Figs are a particularly popular food item, although they will feed on most soft fruits and berries in canopy trees. Insects are also important components of their diet. Breeding: The gregarious behaviour of Figbirds is maintained in the breeding season, with small groups of birds nesting semi-colonially in adjoining canopy trees. The nest is cup-shaped and built of vine tendrils and twigs. It is supported by its rim from the horizontal fork of an outer branch of the canopy, up to 20 m above the ground. Both males and females incubate the eggs and feed the young.

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2 Comments

MacChristiansen
MacChristiansen 8 years ago

Added information

JillBlack
JillBlack 8 years ago

Love the eye colouring

MacChristiansen
Spotted by
MacChristiansen

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Sep 21, 2012
Submitted on Sep 21, 2012

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